House Republicans Prolong Payroll Tax Cut Standoff

The House on Tuesday is scheduled to vote to send the fight over the payroll tax holiday to a conference committee. But Democrats say they won't appoint conferees. House Republicans object to the Senate measure, because it would extend the payroll tax holiday and unemployment benefits for just two months while a longer-term deal is worked out.

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RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Let's turn to a negotiation that may or may not happen. The House is scheduled to vote today to send the fight over the payroll tax holiday to a conference committee to resolve issues Republicans have with a bipartisan bill that already passed overwhelmingly in the Senate.

NPR's Tamara Keith reports.

TAMARA KEITH, BYLINE: Republicans in the House object to the Senate measure because it would extend the payroll tax holiday and unemployment benefits for just two months while a longer-term deal is worked out. House Speaker John Boehner says it should all be worked out now, before the New Year, in a conference committee.

REPRESENTATIVE JOHN BOEHNER: We disagree with what the Senate produced. And as a result, we're asking to go to conference with the Senate so we can resolve the differences between the two Houses.

KEITH: But Democrats say they won't appoint conferees. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi says Republicans should bring the Senate bill up for a clean up or down vote.

REPRESENTATIVE NANCY PELOSI: What we see now is stalling action on the part of those who never really were for a payroll tax cut in the first place.

KEITH: And so the standoff continues.

Tamara Keith, NPR News, The Capitol.

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